Former Vice-Chancellor Bhalchandra Mungekar has written to Mumbai university officials to reconsider their decision to discontinue the course from this academic year.
The UNIVERSITY of Mumbai (MU)’s decision to discontinue the BSc IT course offered by its IT department has not gone down well with academicians and students’ bodies.
Former Vice-Chancellor Bhalchandra Mungekar has written to university officials to reconsider their decision to discontinue the course from this academic year.
“Closing down the course will seriously damage the students’ job prospects, in the midst of growing educated unemployment,” Mungekar, who was the V-C between 2000 and 2004 and later member of the Planning Commission, wrote to the varsity.
The course, started in 2001, was one of four introduced during Mungekar’s tenure and was popular among students. In the academic year 2012-13, 40 students enrolled for the course. The number rose to 58 and 63 in the last two years.
But university officials felt the need to focus on postgraduate courses and proposed to discontinue the course.
According to the recommendation made to the Academic Council, when the course began in 2001, only 30 colleges were offering it but currently there were 205 affiliated colleges offering the BSc IT course to students. It also mentioned that new colleges were getting permission to begin the course. The IT department had said it needed to focus more on postgraduate education and research.
“We request you to kindly consider to stop BSc (IT) from the department of IT alone and enable us to focus on application development of e-governance, research, specialised postgraduate courses,” read the proposal.
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After approval from the ad hoc Academic Council in May, a circular was issued in July this year.
In accordance with the circular, the university did not admit any students to the course this year. It is worth noting that only the IT department has discontinued the course but affiliated colleges will continue to offer the course.
“Students admitted in the previous years will not be affected as they will complete the three-year course,” said a university official.
But Mungekar said the department must coordinate the course among the colleges. “Colleges offering the course and the department discontinuing the course is an anomaly as any degree college course has to be coordinated by the department,” he said.
The university’s decision also upset students’ organisations. The Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena (MNVS) said the course was closed despite growing demand among students.
MNVS secretary Santosh Gangurde said students would approach the education minister. Mungekar said the decision was taken without consulting an expert committee or without any observation of the industry.